Samantha Facius Wins IAAM Cross Country Championships

Since before the turn of the century Mount de Sales has developed some of the top high school distance runners in the Baltimore area.  But until October 25, a Sailor had not produced overall individual cross country league champion since 1995.

Samantha Facius ’19, broke that dry spell with a win at the 2017 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM) championships at Stevenson University’s rolling 5,000 meter course.

The last individual champ was MDSA Hall of Famer Bridget Quenzer,’96, who won the IAAM’s predecessor league, the Association of Independent Schools, crown.

Facius’ effort led Coach Steve Weber’s squad to a fourth place A Conference and overall team result.  Twenty-five schools participated in the championships.

At about the mile mark, Facius and three other runners broke away from the other 161 runners in the varsity race. A quartet including two Archbishop Spalding, the eventual team winner, and one Notre Dame Prep runners.  That group stayed together until about a half-mile to go.

An initial acceleration by Facius dropped all but Spalding’s defending champion Lacy Eden.  A final big kick begun with 600 meters to go dropped Facius’ final challenger and resulted in a 17-second winning cushion and a final time of 18:58.54. It was her fastest ever 5K time and the best by any MDSA runner since 1995.

Sophomore MacKenzie Bell placed 8th in the A Conference to earn a medal as MDSA’s number two runner.

Also placing in the varsity race were Erin Kosloski ’18; Ryleigh Hicks ’21; Veronica Tis ’18; Joy Pontzer ’20; Annie Kearney ’18.
In the open/jv division race Lauren Gulmer, ’21, placed second overall.

Link to IAAM Cross Country Championships results:

Read more in the Baltimore Sun article.

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